Aberlour Futures hailed a centre of excellence in delivering early years and childcare qualifications


Aberlour Futures, the childcare education and training service from Aberlour Child Care Trust has been hailed as a centre of excellence and a shining example of childcare vocational training best practice.

It follows a ‘Grade 1 Excellent’ review of Aberlour Futures from HM Inspectors earlier this year in 4 key areas described as outstanding and sector leading.

Such was the standard of childcare training on offer, Aberlour Futures was asked to share their effective practice with others working in the sector at a national industry event.

Based in Aberdeen, Aberlour Futures delivers vocational education and training for the early learning and childcare workforce in Aberdeen City and across Aberdeenshire. Modern Apprenticeship awards are funded by Skills Development Scotland and registered with the Scottish Social Services Council and Skills Active.

The centre is approved by the Scottish Qualifications Agency to deliver SVQs in Social Services Children & Young People and Playwork at levels 2, 3 and 4, SCQF levels 5, 6 to 9, for the early learning and out-of-school care workforce.

Aberlour Futures also work in partnership with secondary schools to deliver Skills for Work courses in Early Education and Childcare SCQF levels 5 and 6 and have recently been awarded a contract to deliver Foundation Apprenticeships in a local school, St Machar Academy.

The HMI Review of Aberlour Futures found that “Aberlour Futures provide highly relevant Modern Apprenticeship programmes as part of their comprehensive range of qualifications to meet the needs of local and regional employers. These programmes are tailored to the training and workforce requirements of employers and apprentices across Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire. Achievement rates for the Social Services, Children and Young People Modern Apprenticeship programme have improved over the last three years, are consistently high and the achievement rate is currently 18% above the national performance level.

“The Readiness for Assessment process, comprehensive induction arrangements and Saturday study sessions are highly effective in reducing the number of apprentices leaving their programme early and improving attainment levels. The management and delivery of training for apprentices at Aberlour Futures is of a very high standard.

“Aberlour Futures have a clear mission statement which is responding well to Scottish Government priorities for Developing the Young Workforce and contributes to national policy drivers for improving outcomes for children and young people within the early learning and childcare workforce.

Meanwhile, ‘Supporting Apprentices to Achieve through Personalised Training’ and ‘Saturday Study Sessions’ were identified as “excellent practice” in the external review by Education Scotland of training in Social Services Modern Apprenticeships.

Speaking at an event organised by Education Scotland and Skills Development Scotland, Aberlour Futures Modern Apprenticeship Programme Leader, Susan Greig, delivered a presentation on the Aberlour model in delivering personalised support to ensure young people successfully achieve their modern apprenticeship.

Mary Crear, Service Manager, pictured third from right, said “We are proud to be working in partnership with employers to produce to produce top quality modern apprentices who are equipped to work in the field of early years and childcare. We are passionate that children growing up in Scotland deserve the very best childcare if they are to thrive and flourish and we are pleased to play our part in realising this ambition”.


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